Black History 365: Chirlane McCray
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As First Lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray has redefined the role of First Lady, managing a robust portfolio to advance an ambitious agenda in support of all New Yorkers.
Nationally recognized as a powerful champion for mental health reform and dubbed one of TIME Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in Health Care for 2018, Ms. McCray created ThriveNYC, the most comprehensive mental health plan of any city or state in the nation. She also spearheads the Cities Thrive Coalition, with more than 200 mayors, county officials and thought leaders from all 50 states, advocating for a more integrated and better-funded behavioral health system.
As Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Ms. McCray brings together government, philanthropy and the private sector to work on some of the most pressing issues of our time, including mental health, youth employment and immigration.
She also launched and leads the NYC Unity Project, an unprecedented citywide effort to make sure LGBTQ young people in New York City are safe, supported and healthy.
Ms. McCray’s other responsibilities are extensive. As co-chair of the Commission on Gender Equity, she is a persistent voice for creating a 50-50 city and world. In partnership with NYC’s Police Chief, she leads the Domestic Violence Task Force. And in 2015, with her signature, New York City became the first city in the country to join the United Nations Women’s Safe Cities Global Initiative.
The First Lady is a graduate of Wellesley College. She and Mayor Bill de Blasio live in Gracie Mansion, the official residence, and are proud parents of Chiara and Dante.
Chrilane McCray’s bio: City of New York